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ERIC Number: EJ1058848
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: EISSN-1474-9041
Forms in Search of Substance: Quality and Evaluation in Romanian Universities
Geven, Koen; Maricut, Adina
European Educational Research Journal, v14 n1 p113-125 Jan 2015
Romania's integration into the European Union is fraught with cultural stereotypes. One dominant narrative is that the country creates "forms without substance": meaningless institutions without adequate personnel or intellectual capital. In this paper, we investigate whether this popular stereotype adequately describes higher education reforms in recent years. We ask, "what is the meaning of "quality" in the reforms of Romanian universities?" We present our findings based on an analysis of policy documents and 186 semi-structured interviews with administrators, professors and students in five universities. The results show that people in universities have engaged in a process of interpretation and negotiation with the new quality standards. They are "forms in search of substance," as meaning is created within and around the new institutional structures. We argue that "quality" has come to mean "scoring high in evaluations." This is not without problems for the actors in universities; the evaluation standards contain many contradictions, while evaluations themselves have important limitations. Such findings reflect earlier studies on the "audit culture" in university life.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Romania